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​The LEA must ensure all facilities that house CTE programs/courses are accessible to and usable by all individuals, including individuals with disabilities. Please refer to the standards page​ to find all accessibility standards organized by the dates of construction for facilities to which they apply, information on how to identify appropriate standards for your facilities, links to documents for each accessibility standard, a list of items that can be used for documentation when preparing for the facilities portion of the civil rights review, and some basic guidance on web accessibility.

 Standards

​Identifying Accessibility Standards

When conducting a self-assessment or preparing for an on-site review, it is important to identify the accessibility standard that will be used to judge compliance for each of your facilities.  Each building or building modification will be judged based on the accessibility standard that was applicable at the time of its construction (groundbreaking) or at the time of alteration.  The following information will assist in identifying the proper accessibility standard for each facility.  Links to the text of each standard are embedded.  Please note, when corrective actions are required due to violations, all changes must be made to the most current standard (2010 ADA).

The accessibility standards are determined by the date the facility was constructed or last renovated by the institution.
  • Existing facilities: construction or alteration initiated before 6/4/77 – Readily Accessible Standard
  • New construction: construction or alteration initiated between 6/4/77 and 1/17/91 – ANSI A117, 1-1961 (R 197)
  • New construction: construction or alteration initiated on or after 1/18/91 – 1/27/92 –UFAS
  • New construction: construction on or after 1/28/92 – ADA AG or UFAS
  • New construction: construction on or after 3/15/2012 – 2010 ADA

 New or Existing Construction?

​One significant factor in interpreting the standards provided is the identification of facilities as either new or existing construction.  The following guidance may be of assistance.
  • Under Section 504, all construction since June 1977 is new.
  • Under Title II, construction that began after January 26, 1992 is new.
  • Between these dates, the standard of new construction under Section 504 always applies.

 Documentation

​When preparing for an on-site review LEA's will be required to provide building information that allows the review team to accurately identify the accessibility standard associated with each building.  The LEA should be prepared to provided the following documents.
  • Date each building was originally construction
  • Date each building was most recently renovated
  • Maps showing location of modified vocational facilities
  • Maps showing location of CTE facilities
  • Enrollment demographics for each facility
  • Demographics of communities surrounding the facilities
  • Student demographics before and after facility modification
  • Blueprints and building plans
  • Renovation schedules
  • Maintenance records
  • Work orders or contracts indicating construction start dates
  • Location and description of separate facilities for students with disabilities
  • Location and description of accessible facilities in which public events are held (e.g. graduation exercises, plays)

 Web Accessibility

​As the internet continues to reshape the landscape of education, it is a LEA's duty to ensure that all information provided in an electronic format is accessible to all students.  The following are guidelines and resources to help you judge online accessibility and produce accessible online communications. This section is provided as a reference only.  Web accessibility is not currently within the scope of a civil rights review, however, inaccessible electronic content can create violations related to access for individuals with disabilities.  

 Resources

​The following resources may be useful in assessing the accessibility of your facilities.  Resources related to online and electronic accessibility are also provided, though, currently electronic accessibility standards are only offered as a resource for LEA's attempting to comply with state and federal laws outside the scope of an onsite civil rights review.

 Maintenance of Accessible Features

​It is an expectation under the ADA that all accessible features will be maintained and in working order. While Title II of the ADA does not directly address maintenance, except in specific situations (such as elevators and chairlifts), the ADAAG 2004 (Incorporated fully into ADA 2012) provides general guidance that establishes the obligation to maintain accessible features in a proper working order.  Specifically it state:

Advisory 101.1 General. In addition to these requirements, covered entities must comply with the regulations issued by the Department of Justice and the Department of Transportation under the Americans with Disabilities Act. There are issues affecting individuals with disabilities which are not addressed by these requirements, but which are covered by the Department of Justice and the Department of Transportation regulations.

The regulations referenced in Advisory 101.1 related to the maintenance of accessible features are clarified in the following citation from the Americans with Disabilities Act – Title II Technical Assistance Manual.  It clarifies the obligations of recipients related to maintenance of accessible features under Title II.

II-3.10000 Maintenance of accessible features. Public entities must maintain in working order equipment and features of facilities that are required to provide ready access to individuals with disabilities. Isolated or temporary interruptions in access due to maintenance and repair of accessible features are not prohibited.

Where a public entity must provide an accessible route, the route must remain accessible and not blocked by obstacles such as furniture, filing cabinets, or potted plants. An isolated instance of placement of an object on an accessible route, however, would not be a violation, if the object is promptly removed. Similarly, accessible doors must be unlocked when the public entity is open for business.

Mechanical failures in equipment such as elevators or automatic doors will occur from time to time. The obligation to ensure that facilities are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities would be violated, if repairs are not made promptly or if improper or inadequate maintenance causes repeated and persistent failures.

  • ILLUSTRATION 1: It would be a violation for a building manager of a three-story building to turn off the only passenger elevator in order to save energy during the hours when the building is open.
  • ILLUSTRATION 2: A public high school has a lift to provide access for persons with mobility impairments to an auditorium stage. The lift is not working. If the lift normally is functional and reasonable steps have been taken to repair the lift, then the school has not violated its obligations to maintain accessible features. On the other hand, if the lift frequently does not work and reasonable steps have not been taken to maintain the lift, then the school has violated the maintenance of accessible features requirement.
  • ILLUSTRATION 3: Because of lack of space, a city office manager places tables and file cabinets in the hallways, which interferes with the usability of the hallway by individuals who use wheelchairs. By rendering a previously accessible hallway inaccessible, the city has violated the maintenance requirement, if that hallway is part of a required accessible route.
Additional clarification on the intent of the ADA related to maintenance of accessible features can be found in Title III  of that act, which addresses the expectation in the following way:

28 CFR 36.211 Maintenance of accessible features
  1. A public accommodation shall maintain in operable working condition those features of facilities and equipment that are required to be readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities by the Act or this part.
  2. This section does not prohibit isolated or temporary interruptions in service or access due to maintenance or repairs.
  3. If the 2010 Standards reduce the technical requirements or the number of required accessible elements below the number required by the 1991 Standards, the technical requirements or the number of accessible elements in a facility subject to this part may be reduced in accordance with the requirements of the 2010 Standards.”
Safety Issues
During the course of an onsite review, reviewers will document any maintenance issues that could pose a significant safety concern to an individual with a disability, whether the maintenance issue is  connected to an accessible feature or a general facilities provision that is used by individuals with disabilities.  Generally, these issues can be addressed through general maintenance and are subject to the maintenance of accessible features citations referenced above. 

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